Blaming Bush Jumps the Shark

Remember when blaming George W. Bush for the probléme du jour seemed fantastique? Well, every winning rhetorical device eventually passes its sell-by date. For evidence, consider this morning’s San Jose Mercury News editorial, “Conspiracy theories blur Libya issues”:

In other words, intelligence agencies didn’t want…

  1. SMatthewStolte

    The text you quoted does not blame Bush for anything. It doesn’t even say that there is a causal connection between anything that happened in the Bush administration and the need for intelligence agencies to be extra careful. Instead, it says that intelligence agencies need to be extra careful, and it cites what happened in the Bush administration as an example of what happens if they are not. 

    There’s plenty wrong with the merits of that claim. But it seems absurd to me to say that this is an instance of blaming Bush. 

  2. liberal jim

    When you have a President that was as big a disaster as Bush you have to expect the other party to continually bring him up.  I seem to hear the GOP still referring to Jimmy C. from time to time.  

  3. Mike Poliquin

    Uh, no. Bush-bashing has not jumped the shark: for Fonzie to jump the shark, a significant audience must perceive the event. In other words, if Fonzie jumps the shark and no one who matters acts like they’ve seen it, then nothing happened.

    We have rendered ourselves irrelevant by nominating losers (people who lose elections or people who win elections and then fail to do what we elect them to do). We do not matter.

    The Democrats’ audience includes people who want the country destroyed, want the country to give them free stuff, and people who just don’t care but are sure they hate Republicans, who are all uneducated Bible-thumping rednecks too stupid to live in a decently populated metropolitan area.

    These people are dancing on, jumping back and forth around, prodding, and taking close-up pictures of the shark. Some know it, some don’t. But until they decide Obama’s gone too far, he remains their lord and savior.

    Mr. Long, I accuse you of wishful thinking, a sin of which I have also been guilty many times. Back to your cynic’s corner, you rascal, and stick to what you know: realistic, squishy pessimism.


  4. BrentB67

    I think it is OK for conservatives to criticize President Bush, Tom Delay, Denny Hastert, etc.

    They gave up on limited government and greenlighted Federal overreach. Obama is a natural extension of their cowardice (continued in full faith by John Boehner).

     One of the best things Gov. Romeny did was bring this up in an interview with the WSJ. I believe if Gov. Romney had run as aggressively against the republican ghosts of admins past as he did against Obama he would’ve rallied more independent fiscal conservatives to his cause.

    Running a ‘not Obama’ campaign against the dems was a loser, but running a ‘not pre-2010 republican’ campaign may have helped.

  5. Carver

    Mr. Long?

  6. Scott R

    Regrettably, I think you’re mistaken, George: As it pertains to the economy, Bush bashing will remain alive as a political stratagem until we come up with a pithy, effective response.

    As Mona Charen has been saying on her podcast, the single most effective line for Obama was (and is) the rhetorical and deceiving “Why would we want to return to the policies that got us into this mess?” That was the water-cooler question of the election, and Republican leadership has still not given the Republican everyman an effective rote response to employ at that water cooler.

    How ’bout: “The crisis in 2008 was caused by a bipartisan failure of housing policy and is completely unrelated to the challenges we face today.”

    If Romney and Republicans had driven home that line for the last two years — elaborating when appropriate – then, yes, Bush bashing would have jumped the shark by now.

    Oh, and we’d have won the election. 

  7. Vance Richards

    So, the White House didn’t try to save our ambassador because we didn’t want to jump to the conclusion that he was under attack?

    Blaming Al-Qaeda when you do not have all of the facts would have been wrong. OK, I get that. But blaming YouTube when none of the facts support that is a good idea? If the administration simply said “the details of the attack are being reviewed and we do not want to comment until we have all the facts” no one would have complained. But instead they actively went out to promote a story they knew wasn’t true. That’s not Bush’s fault.

  8. KC Mulville

    If the Obama Administration had said nothing, then you might be able to make the claim that they were being cautious.

    But they didn’t say nothing. Instead, they leaped to the accusation that this event was about a You Tube video. They pushed that accusation.

    You might argue that there were legitimate reasons why they didn’t get it right. That would be understandable; intelligence isn’t perfect. What they can’t explain is why they chose a narrative that was completely wrong, and they had no support for believing – other than the political benefit that phony story gave them.

  9. Fricosis Guy

    Reveling in liberal hypocrisy about intelligence gives us all a nice sugar high, but Scott and BrentB67 are right.  

    We conservatives have had George Bush hung around our necks just like our forbears had Herbert Hoover hung around theirs.  IMO, our best hope is a new generation of candidates who will refute the calumnies and also repudiate GOP errors. 

    The 22nd Amendment also doesn’t hurt.

  10. George Savage
    SMatthewStolte: There’s plenty wrong with the merits of that claim. But it seems absurd to me to say that this is an instance of blaming Bush.  · 4 hours ago

    Funny, but “absurd” is also the favorite adjective of the authors of the editorial I cite.  Of course, they are referring to the very idea that the Obama administration’s reporting of the Benghazi attack could have been an electoral gambit.

    Meanwhile, we have yet to be told what the president learned, when he learned it, and what orders he gave.  

    The Obama administration knew about the attack as it unfolded, yet chose to blame it on an obscure YouTube video in an aggressive disinformation campaign that went on for weeks.  The fact that journalists are reduced to reaching for the Bush administration’s pre-Iraq war intelligence under these circumstances is the truly absurd element.

  11. SMatthewStolte
    George Savage

    SMatthewStolte: There’s plenty wrong with the merits of that claim. But it seems absurd to me to say that this is an instance of blaming Bush.  · 4 hours ago

    Funny, but “absurd” is also the favorite adjective of the authors of the editorial I cite.  …

    I admit it. I used the same adjective as editors at the San Jose Mercury News. And I am going to have to live with this fact — and everything it implies about the point I was making — for the rest of my life. 

  12. iDad

    Mr. Savage

    SMatthewStolte is correct.  Your post title is inaccurate and unfair. 

    I suggest either of the following:

    Trying to Excuse A Monumental Failing of and/or Outright Lie by the Obama Administration by Claiming Bush Did the Same or Worse Finally Jumps the Shark 


    San Jose Mercury Equates Claim That Obama Did Nothing in Response to Benghazi Attack to Saying Bush Was Behind 9-11

    Let’s give those fine journalists their due.

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